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Witnessing the effects of conflict in South Sudan

Mar 2014

Dominique Burgeon, Director of FAO's Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, took part in the Emergency Directors Group (EDG) mission to South Sudan, a country facing a major humanitarian crisis since fighting broke out on 15 December 2013. The mission made up of representatives from UN agencies and NGOs working on humanitarian response in South Sudan set out to review challenges facing the people of South Sudan, discuss operational issues around the humanitarian response and advocate for increased funding to support the most conflict-affected populations of South Sudan.

The Emergency Directors Group visited Nyal, in Payinjiar County of Unity State and encountered complete destitution and despair. At least 40 000 IDPs from as far away as Malakal, Bentiu, Leer, Bor and Juba were found sheltering on 20 small islands around the town of Nyal, having fled their homes in an effort to escape the violence that has plunged the country into crisis. The visit of Dominique Burgeon highlights the importance FAO is placing on the crisis in South Sudan which has affected up to 4.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and has left over 7 million at risk of food insecurity.

FAO is mobilizing it’s full capacity to deliver life saving assistance to those most affected by the violence. Funding from generous partners like the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) helps FAO to support people in setting up farming and marketing operations wherever they are, keeping their livestock fed and vaccinated, and getting equipment to catch fish. FAO is putting together a range of different emergency livelihood kits, in the region of $30 each. One kit can provide either six months of staple crops for one family, a year's worth of diversified and nutrient-rich vegetables, animal health services for 80 families for one month, or enough fish to feed 20 families a day.

Author: FAO/Dominique Burgeon